Basketball Basics

Basketball Tendencies – How to Defend a Driver or Shooter

Basketball Defense - Defending a driver or shooter

In this video we talk about the safe way to guard a player with the basketball and consider their basketball tendencies.

Here is the video…

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Scouting your opponent’s tendencies in basketball is important in giving you an advantage when you come to play.

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How to Defend a Driver or Shooter

Basketball Skill Acquisition

  • Scouting / Observing Opponents
  • Game Strategy
  • Decision Making
  • Risk and Safety
  • Ball Harrassment
  • Shot Harrassment
  • Contesting
  • Tendencies
  • Pattern and Behaviour Recognition

Basketball Drill Purpose

To help explain and demonstrate the foundational basketball concepts of safe guarding distance when defending a driver or when defending a shooter.

Basketball Equipment Needed

  • 1 Ball and 2 players (1 offense and 1 defense)
  • Play 1 on 1 recognising what your opponent likes to do.

(Watch Video)


We’ve got Taylin and Ethan here from our Academy.
We’re going to look at the tendencies of athletes.

We’re just going to talk about these a little bit.

A lot of players tend to have tendencies.

They tend to only do the same things and it becomes very predictable.

You see it with the bigs a lot.

A lot of big guys catch the ball and the first thing they want to do is bounce the ball and they go nowhere.

Well the problem with that is, good guards have scouted that and they know as soon as that guy’s catching the ball, they’re going to put the ball to the floor.

They’re just going to dig out and they’re going to get it.

A lot of big guys particularly at a young age, they get the ball stripped. Alright?

So as players you want to be looking for tendencies.

You want to look at, ‘Is this guy a shooter?’, ‘Is this guy driver?’.

You want to know, does he like to shoot at the three? Does he only shooting immediate?

Is he a finisher at the rim? Does he post?

Is he going only to his right all the time?

Is he bringing the ball from his waist to shoot?

Can you change the shot, just by putting a hand above the ball?

Which risk of foul there, but can you change his shot by, if he has to bring it from his waist, can you make him uncomfortable there?

So as he brings it up, he’s got to change the way he shoots.

Safe Guarding Distance In Basketball

Now when you’re playing on the ball the important thing to note is what is this guy?

Is he a good shooter? Is he a good driver?

Or, is he both? Because the way you defend him will determine what his strengths and weaknesses are and you want to take advantage of his weaknesses.

So, if Taylin were to be known to be a good shooter or driver or you’re unsure.

Then you would guard him at what we would call a safe distance.

So the safe distance, if you just want to demonstrate it.

You should be able to from this standing start be able to reach his stomach.

Like that would be a safe distance. You should be able to from that defensive stance, be able to reach forward and touch, almost his navel, with your fingertips.

So we consider that a safe distance.

If Taylin were to be a driver and not a shooter.

Then Ethan can be a fraction away, encouraging the shot. But we still want to contest the shot if it goes up.

If he starts to shoot the ball.

But we, also want to know whether he’s a good shooter at the 3 point line because if he is not then we don’t have to guard. We can provide a little bit more help for our teammates.

And encourage him to take that shot knowing that there’s likely to be a rebound at the end of it for our team.

Make Shooters Drivers

Now if he happens to be not such a good driver but a really good shooter.

Then what we’d have is, we’d have Ethan come right in and under and now we’re in and closer so we’re making him feel uncomfortable with the actual shot.

So what we’re forcing him to do here, is actually drive. So what you’ll notice with Ethan is.

Ethan’s got his hand under the ball to harass it and so he can dig up.

A lot of referees like to blow the whistle when you hit down or slap down at the ball.

If they see that. Even if you don’t hit the player they’re likely to call or blow the whistle.

Whereas digging up on the ball is often a lot easier to get the ball and you’re less likely to make contact with the player who has the ball.

And it’s also harassing them to keep the ball up which helps prevent the drive.

Ok. As well as putting pressure on the shot. So being up and under can be uncomfortable for guys that like to shoot.

Thanks for checking out this video on basketball tendencies.

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All videos are Copyright Craig Rowe (OzSwoosh) © 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: Basketball, like many sports, may result in serious injury or even death. Drills and ideas contained in OzSwoosh videos are demonstrations only. Coaches and players re-enacting the drills, or following advice, do so at their own risk. Children should always play under the supervision of a responsible adult.

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